Our take: The status quo is unacceptable in a school district with terrible results (Chicago). New York Times columnist Joe Nocera, often a skeptic of school reform initiatives, notes that the Chicago school strike shows that we are in the midst of a nationwide education crisis.
So said Karen Lewis, the fiery president of the Chicago Teachers Union, when Mayor Rahm Emanuel named a new chief executive of the city’s sprawling school system, the third largest in the nation.
It was April 2011. The new man was Jean-Claude Brizard, who had cut his teeth working with one of the country’s best-known school reformers, Joel Klein in New York City, before becoming superintendent of schools in Rochester. There he promoted charter schools and merit pay, pushed for performance standards — and so infuriated the teachers’ union that it overwhelmingly gave him a vote of no confidence two months before he left for Chicago.
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